Dissent is a sentiment or philosophy of non-agreement or opposition to an idea (eg. a government's policies) or an entity (eg. an individual or political party which supports such policies). The term's antonyms include agreement, consensus (when all or nearly all parties agree on something) and consent (when one party agrees to a proposition made by another).
Dissent may be expressed in many ways. In some political systems, dissent may be formally expressed by way of opposition politics, while politically repressive regimes may prohibit any form of dissent, leading to suppression of dissent and the encouragement of social or political activism. Individuals who do not conform or support the policies of certain states may be described as "dissidents," or in extreme cases, "enemies of the state". Several thinkers have argued that a healthy society needs not only to protect, but also to encourage dissent.
In a well known letter to Arnold Ruge, Karl Marx wrote: "if constructing the future and settling everything for all times are not our affair, it is all the more clear what we have to accomplish at present: I am referring to ruthless criticism of all that exists, ruthless both in the sense of not being afraid of the results it arrives at and in the sense of being just as little afraid of conflict with the powers that be.
Yes, it seems that to be "nice" one must cease and desist from all critical dissent and debate. To be nice, one must say things obliquely rather than directly, or better yet, say nothing at all. One should try to focus on points of agreement and smooth over differences in a fog of blandness. This emphasis on being nice is a form of oppression. Feminists pointed this out in the 70's and encouraged us not to teach our daughters to be "nice" because it was disempowering to them. Now we just want our Buddhists to be nice. This niceness which is being referred to is what Trungpa Rinpoche called "idiot compassion." It seems that it is fine for the Western Buddhist Movement to castrate the power of the Buddhadharma, but if anyone says "Hey, wait a minute, you are distorting the teachings of liberation," then they are branded with the scarlet letter - "not nice.|